Print Reseller Scheme
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Do you feel weird charging people...

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by shaunalynn, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. shaunalynn

    shaunalynn Active Member

    I've recently gone into freelancing full time. Before that I have done it intermittently for two years in addition to my day job. But since it was just a source of extra spending money I was never worried about charging a whole lot for things, the most was an illustration for $600 two years ago. The other two that have been great for my career were from a magazine that paid $250 per cover (that was their price for that sort of thing).
    Now that this is my full time gig, I realized I needed to up my pricing. Did any of you ever feel weird about charging several hundred/thousand dollars for a design? How did you get over feeling that way?
    I'm working for a client right now that when I told her $400 for an illustration she told me that was WAY too low for the scope of the project and upped it to $800 with a buffer of $1,000 (DREAM CLIENT) and said that was the last time I'd ever work for that little.
    I have a potential opportunity to work with a big brand that deals with licensing my work as well that could pay incredibly well so I'm preparing myself mentally to be ready to charge $5,000 or more depending on how many illustrations they ask for and how long they want to license. This is a project that could potentially pay my rent for several months, so I'm hoping it goes through. However, I really want it to go through because it sounds like an INCREDIBLY fun project.
    Now that I have clients coming to me more, I am going on the advice of a mentor that said "I never charge less than $500 for a logo" because it takes so long to do.
    Back to my point, how do you get over the awkward feeling of charging that much to a client? This is now my living so I have to charge more than I have been, but it feels weird making that much from a single project. :unsure:
     
  2. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    At first, I felt really weird charging people, now, it's second nature.

    I always look at it this way;

    "If the balk at the price of a £300 logo design, branding package, £650 website or something along those lines, then are they really the sort of client you want to be working for anyway?"
    I know Squiddy on here has said to me a lot of times before; "I always got told to multiply my price by 5, get rejected for a lot of jobs, but the one job you do get, is a) really worth the time and effort, b) has a client that's fully committed and c) you end up doing less work (theoretically) for the same amount of money you would've made doing 3 or 4 smaller jobs."

    Your work is really really good and people will pay your prices.

    It feels really strange in the beginning billing out at figures that a lot of people only make in 1 month, but, you get used to it, and, once you take into account expenses and things, those figures sharp melt away!

    Don't worry about it, and if you never hear back from some people, just think "they probably went and got a bad piece of artwork and design somewhere else"!
     
  3. Soprano

    Soprano Member

    I haven't got much under my belt but on the first job I done for a big company I was so nervous when they started discussing prices (tbf I was so nervous whenever we needed to do a call to go over details etc :lol: ) but luckily I have a few designer & illustrator contacts I can call on in these situations for advice, which helped when it came to invoicing.
    I think it's hard when you're beginning, it can feel a lot like you're overcharging, I know I had a bit of a fear of being told where to go if I was charging what are actually reasonable rates. But then if you undersell yourself in the beginning I think it'll be harder to start charging the average going rate further down the line.
    I guess it's like everything; the more you do it, the easier it'll become, I think gaining confidence in yourself as a freelancer would be key in becoming comfortable with charging what you/your time is worth.
    Still on topic but as a side note, I'm involved in a mail art project this year and when I accepted the invitation I had to value my work - that decision alone took me THREE days. :lol: :blush: I'll be a nightmare when I start freelancing!
     
  4. shaunalynn

    shaunalynn Active Member

    Thanks, guys!!! I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this. :) It is really weird to charge more than I would have made in ONE MONTH at my old full time job. It's almost scary yet very exciting.
    But then again, I have to make a living, and it will help to have that money in the bank if I have a few slow months.
    The only client I charge peanuts for is my old ice rink boss. Before I relocated I'd worked at the rink for two years and skated there for three. Over that time I built a strong relationship with my boss and his family (who all worked there, too) and his daughters looked at me like an older sister. They have a very limited freelance budget, but he's the dream client in the sense that he loves whatever I come up with. I just do one-off web banners for him and charge $30 a banner and he's cool with that, as am I because I'm still considered a coach up there and can work it out that I get to skate for free for the most part when I come up to visit. :) Works in my favor.
    But it's good to know others have felt apprehension when it comes to charging. But then again, you go to the dentist expecting to pay several hundred dollars for a root canal, or thousands for veneers, because you want the best quality. If you get veneers for $200, something is up.
     
  5. shaunalynn

    shaunalynn Active Member

    I've had two additional opportunities knock in the last two days. One was two non-prof logos for $500 total, but right now his budget is $400. I'm willing to take it as long as he allows me to display the logos on my site and such.
    Another hasn't talked price yet. Seems like it could be a really fun project, and he gave me some examples of the style he is looking for, which I am able to achieve. But I am not sure what to change for a sample. The email is a little strange though, no link to his own website. Googling doesn't bring up his company. So I'm taking this one with a grain of salt. Going to respond and figure out what the scope of it all is first.
     
  6. shaunalynn

    shaunalynn Active Member

    Check out the book "Pricing and Ethical Guidelines" by the Graphic Artists Guild. Without knowing the specs we can't really help you much beyond telling you to guesstimate how long it will take you and multiply that by your hourly rate.
     
  7. GibbonIt

    GibbonIt Member

    There are loads of charts that recommend prices online too, but remember - clients usually pay more to get better quality :)
     
  8. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    Better quality is always worth investing in. No point in getting something cheap then having to do it again almost immediately.
     
    DavoSmith likes this.
  9. GibbonIt

    GibbonIt Member

    Precisely :nod:
     
  10. shaunalynn

    shaunalynn Active Member

    WHY AM I STILL SCARED OF OVERCHARGING!?!?!?!? I was just offered to do a label design, and I'm scared to say $600. It's hand lettered from scratch. I think I'm most afraid of underpricing myself. They're doing one label to start and then from there possibly more. So it could be a good repeat client.
     
  11. I found this hard to get used to as well. One day I thought to my self, enough is enough and on the next job I doubled my price and the client was more than happy to pay! I think the fear of missing out on a good opportunity can some times lead us to doubt the value of our work. Remember, you can always negotiate down, but trying to negotiate up after presenting a cheap quote is not something that's going to play well.
     
    DavoSmith and shaunalynn like this.
  12. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    As above, it's certainly harder in the start because you inevitably have less confidence in yourself to deliver something worthy of that figure. Over time, as you become more confident that you can, then it becomes easier to state your price.
    I remember having a meeting about three years ago with a woman who ran a print shop and was looking for freelancers to do some of the design work they offered on top of the print. She sat there looking through my portfolio and seemed impressed enough, but then laughed at me when I said I would charge £50 for a flyer, £50! If anything, that sounds a little cheap to me. That threw me at the time as I felt a bit awkward sat in the meeting, whilst she went on to laugh at how "nobody is going to pay £50 for a flyer" and so on. Later on in the meeting she mentioned to me that she was charging £60p/h for her design work which looked poor, so I don't know how her sums worked out!
    I think Tony's quote above from 'Squiddy' is a good one to reflect on though. If you're charging twice as much, you can afford to spend twice as long looking for the right clients and treating them properly, putting all your efforts into producing something that is worth the figure. And that comes with confidence which develops in time.
    Sometimes I still feel a bit guilty almost for charging certain prices, but if you've got to pay the bills then you've got to do it.
     
  13. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    I've just put in a quote for nearly £10,000. That's scary. However, the only way they'll get the job cheaper is by outsourcing it overseas. A lot of other places will be charging 3 or 4 times what I'm proposing to the company.
    I've also stopped taking on stupid little enquiries. "Can you make me an ebook cover for £100?" No. You know these clients are going to be a total nightmare and a waste of your time and effort.
    I don't think designers can compete on things like flyer design. So many printers are doing "design" for £40 if you do your printing through them, and to be honest, they're more than welcome to it. It's clients like that I'm striving to avoid.
     
  14. shaunalynn

    shaunalynn Active Member

    Thanks guys, that makes sense. I know my designs are worth more than I have been charging. The magazine cover and feature I just did is bringing me $550 total, which is pretty decent for a magazine that's local. I just know I have to make sure I sound confident. I've got another project coming in that's cover, feature and spots. It's a national mag so I have to be ready to name a price for each. It's easier for me to name a flat rate for things and its easier for clients to comprehend. I just have to make sure the rate doesn't equal out to $4/hr by the end. This new client offered to send me the project brief so I could better get an idea of the scope and price it out accordingly. I'm assuming its going to be between 400-600 off of what I know, but since its hand lettering I have to make sure I don't underprice myself. We are doing a tight sketch first so I don't want to give her a huge rate if we are just doing the sketch for now as a client option. I'm working to get an agent, so I don't have to worry about the pricing. And I can learn the pricing through it and get an idea. I know they will take a cut of the profit but they'll also bring in additional work I wouldn't have normally received. One I'm in talks with says she loves my stuff and wants to see some more of the "chalk" type. So I'm crossing my fingers for that simply because it would make this freelancing thing a little easier and I could better learn. :)
     
  15. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    Getting your pricing right is hard. Seeing a business up and dealing with all that admin side of things too just as you're starting out is a total nightmare :) Hope the agent thing works out for you Shauna!
     
  16. After you do one for £30,000 then you feel even weirder... which is something I just did :eek: :domo:
     
    DavoSmith likes this.
  17. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    It's a strange sensation handing out a quote/project plan/proposal for your biggest job isn't it? What's the 30k? Surely not just a design package? :)
     
  18. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    Interesting though - what sort of project is your one for, Tony? And yeah, I'd also be interested in hearing a little more about the £30k one, too!
     
  19. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    My 10k project quote is for;
    - a fully bespoke Wordpress site development, ground up, no existing theme.
    - a customised backend/subsite that allows venues and pubs etc to input their information, which then automatically updates a pre-existing iPhone app
    - e-commerce integration into the subsite that allows the venues/pubs/clubs etc to purchase advertising, post messages, house all of their information that also feeds back into the app.

    So basically, a lot of back-end development work and programming reinforced with a lot of design work. Custom analytics pages, things like that. Lots of hard work coming up!

    There's more to it all than that, but that's the basic run down :)
     
  20. Nope was for a big load of work for one client. NDA signed so hush hush unfortunately :D
     

Share This Page